Thursday, April 19, 2012

This Nightmare Called Life

The Trial
1962.  119 minutes. Directed by Orson Welles. Watchdate: 12/08/2011.
As I began to be drawn into Orson Welles' haunted, meditative Kafka adaptation, I found myself trying to put as much distance between myself and the images on the screen as possible. I pushed the movie away. My body seemed to be rejecting it. I wanted more than anything to go to sleep and not have to see what I was watching. A couple of days later while lying down perhaps nearing a nap, I found myself stricken rapturously with a mysterious fear that seemed to me to be a realization of what the movie meant. Or if not what it meant, then what it represented. Our minds seem programmed to look for more order and tidiness than this world could ever provide. This movie's dark caverns, its squalid canyons of confusion, its enigmatic hierarchy of colliding characters strips away that programming slowly, subtly yet inescapably. I have never experienced such a strong emotional response from a movie days after actually having seen it.

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